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VimpelCom deal faces legal action

Telenor starts arbitration against VimpelCom over Wind deal

Russian telco VimpelCom plans to acquire Wind Telecom, but faces opposition from Telenor.
Russian telco VimpelCom plans to acquire Wind Telecom, but faces opposition from Telenor.

Norwegian telco Telenor has started legal proceedings that could stall Russian operator VimpelCom's proposed acquisition of Wind Telecom.

Telenor, which is VimpelCom's second biggest shareholder, said it had started arbitration against VimpelCom and its biggest shareholder, Alfa Group, to "preserve its pre-emptive rights in the Wind Telecom transaction".

Under the terms of a revised bid for Wind Telecom, which VimpelCom announced in mid-January, Telenor's voting rights will be diluted. The deal would see Telenor's 36% voting rights reduced to 25%.

VimpelCom originally signed a deal to acquire Wind, which is owned by Egyptian business tycoon, Naguib Sawiris, back in October 2010, but Telenor rejected the $6.6 billion deal the following month, leading the Russian telco to propose a revised deal.

However, a spokesman for Telenor said that the revised deal made "even less sense" than the original proposal.

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